You’re sweating, you can hear your heart pounding in your ears, you’re trying to catch your breath, and maybe even seeing stars. Good job – the Tabata is working.
The 4-Minute Miracle Workout:
HIIT Training Tabata Style
What is Tabata?Tabata is a form of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). It’s become more popular in recent years and even celebrated as a “4-Minute Miracle workout.” But is this form of training really more effective than traditional workouts? Science says YES.
Tabata training was developed in 1996 for Olympic Athletes by Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician. Dr. Izumi conducted a study with two groups of athletes over the course of six weeks. The control group performed one hour of moderate-intensity exercise five times a week. The test group performed HIIT style training (20 seconds of exercise at max capacity followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 minutes*) four times a week.
The results were incredible. The Control group increased their aerobic capacity but saw no significant improvements to their anaerobic capacity. The test group significantly increased both their aerobic capacity and their anaerobic capacity. Plus the Test Group’s VO2 max (a measure of cardiovascular fitness levels) increased by 28%. Those kinds of gains among elite athletes is unheard of.
What does this mean for the rest of us?One 4-minute Tabata can have more impact on your fitness than 60 minutes on a treadmill. That’s why people call it a “miracle workout.”
“Tabata Bootcamp has improved my running – even though I’m running less, I got a PR!” - January 2018 Tabata Bootcamp Participant
But why is it so effective?The key is exerting 100% effort during the exercise interval of the Tabata, immediately raising your metabolism and heart rate. If you perform exercises as hard as you can your body will automatically work harder to keep up. Your heart will pump faster and your metabolism will jump, which is what you want if you want to lose fat.
Now factor in the body is forced to perform without a full recovery. Somewhere along the line, you’ll hit a point of maximum oxygen intake. As you push this limit your fitness levels will continuously increase.
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Additionally, this workout method creates a prolonged afterburn because it takes longer for the body to return to a restful state. In other words, you will continue to burn fat long after the training is complete.
“My core strength has improved so much that it has reduced my back pain!” - January 2018 Tabata Bootcamp Participant
What sets Tabata apart from HIIT?Tabata is a type of HIIT exercise. The difference? Duration. Tabata follows a 20/10 interval. 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for four minutes. Repeat this 8 times with different exercises and you have a 30-minute workout that will absolutely deliver results.
Don’t believe it? Try doing as many Burpees in proper form as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat for 8 rounds. Congratulations, you are done with the first four minutes of a Tabata style workout!
Ready to exceed your own expectations?
HealthSPORT regularly offers 8-week Tabata Bootcamp sessions. Participants report successful weight loss (more than 12 pounds in 8 weeks), improved endurance, and increased strength. Sign up for Tabata Bootcamp or join the waitlist. No matter what your goals are or how fit you are, Tabata Bootcamp will push your limits and take you to the next level.
* Note: The original form of Tabata called for 8 minutes of HIIT. These days the standard is ubiquitously set to 4 minutes of the HIIT exercises, which is still very effective.